Struggle Meal #2
Have you ever walked into your grandma's house and been greeted by the smell of her home cooking? Beef and vegetable soup steam is wafting in the air and causing you to salivate and think, "Damn, that smells good?" My grandma is not so fond of cooking anymore because of her joints bothering her, but I still associate the smells of her cooking with her house; it is only second after the smell of her cedar chest that makes me happy.
My grandma is famous among family and friends for a few particular dishes: the aforementioned soup, bean soup, and beef and noodles. My grandpa runs a business where he does taxes for people, and back in the day, his employees would request the beef and noodles because it is that good.
I got lucky in that my mom cooked that for my sisters, my dad, and me when we were younger. Of course, I did not have the same appreciation for it then that I have now because I was picky and loathed gravy... But as I grew older, I began to eat it with joy in my heart.
This meal is something grandma just threw together and everyone loved it. My mom told me that my Uncle Steve would eat a whole bag of noodles with the beef and gravy just on his own. It is the kind of food that you make and there are rarely leftovers if at all, which I can tell you is the truth because Bruce ate the hell out of it last night.
It is the kind of food that makes me glad for my grandma. She won't be here forever, which is a sad truth nobody really wants to think about... She says so every time I see her, though... And I want to have as many memories as I can have with my sweet, kindhearted, soft spoken, goofball of a grandma. She is one of my favorite people in the world and I am so glad to have her in my life.
She means the world to me, and so does her cooking.
Let's talk about why it's a struggle meal.
Normally people don't associate steak with struggle... After all, it's a treat, right? The great thing is that steak can be pretty cheap if you get a cut that is normally tough and have less fat or flavor than something like a porterhouse. 1 lb of beef bottom round or eye of round, for instance, is one of the least expensive cuts of beef that you can get at around $4. That is still kind of pricey, right? But think about stretching the meal.
My grandma was feeding a family of six with about a lb of the stuff at a time, and there is enough cooked that there COULD be leftovers once they are stretched out. So you have the beef, and you have a can of condensed broth, which is about $1 or so depending on what the label looks like... A bag of egg noodles is around $1, 50 cents worth of onion, 10 cents worth of garlic, pennies worth of the seasonings and flour. My grandma would use two bags of noodles, so tack on another buck and call it good. That makes it less than $8 to feed a family of 6, so just over a buck a plate. That is with inflation.
I am going to give you two recipes for this. First will be the original recipe which I highly suggest you make before you try it with my adjustments. Her recipe is simple and quick and mine is a little more complex out of experimentation to develop more flavor notes. My recipe is still cheap, it's only a difference of a few quarters.
1 lb beef bottom or eye of round, thinly sliced into strips
¼ cup flour for dredging
2 TBSP Canola oil
1 small onion, sliced
2-4 cups beef broth/stock
4 cups egg noodles, partially cooked
Salt, Pepper, Horseradish, garlic, parsley all to taste
1 lb beef bottom or eye of round, thinly sliced into strips
2 egg whites
½ cup cornstarch
1-2 teaspoons or a big dash of Worcestershire sauce (traditionally, soy sauce is used)
1 medium Onion, chopped
¼ cup bell pepper
2-4 cloves Garlic
1 TBSP Horse radish (Optional)
2-4 cups Beef broth or stock
1 bag egg noodles (Or no yolks)
2 TBSP butter
Salt, pepper, celery seed, parsley to taste
I hope you try both versions!
Even though this started off as something thrown together, it is just one of those things that feels like home. It is a gift I wanted to share with you because I felt that it deserved some recognition. Maybe it will give you good feelings and make you think about your own grandma like it does with me.
it is savory and the gravy is nice and silky, and it's sort of like eating a bowl of beef and noodle soup but with gravy instead of broth. Like I said, you should try her version first because it's the best. Mine is good too, but it isn't the same as grandma's...
With that being said...
Okay folks, I've got a lot happening on here as of late and I just wanted to shoot you all a quick update. First and foremost, you may have noticed that I have been rearranging things here on the site; I really didn't like having a landing page that really didn't make sense to what I wanted... I didn't even know you could change it until recently, and it pleased me very much to find out you could. So I have been trying to remove stuff that isn't necessary to the blog, and adding stuff that makes sense...
For instance, I have started making my recipes into PDF form for printable download...
Anyways, here is a list of things I have done so far:
Removed the craft part of the blog
Stuff I am working on:
Struggle Meal recipes
Stuff I am considering:
Adsense... Do I or don't I?
If you have anything you want me to test app wise, you might have to talk to Weebly first because there are not any food type applications compatible with weebly. Please DO push some on them, it'd be great to be able to have a recipe card on here instead of having to consider whether I want to transfer to Blogger or stay here. I like it better here as far as streamlining.
That is it for now... If you have any questions or comments, please do leave em with me via comments or email. Please consider signing up for the newsletter so I can update you every now and then.
Every time I mention the name "Slumgulean," people give me that puzzled look wondering what in the world I am talking about, and there is a story behind it and how it has been a part of my family for a long time. The answer to the question is that Slumgulean is a struggle meal; a poor man's breakfast/dinner that my grandma used to throw together in order to feed four boys and use up some ingredients that she had readily available.
Back in the day, my grandfather worked for Ekrich, delivering their product as a truck driver, and my grandparents would end up with a butt ton of sausage and balogna to eat throughout those years. One of the ways my grandma would fix smoked sausage would be to throw it into her Slumgulean and it would be stretched out with other ingredients that were inexpensive but nice and filling.
She would slice the sausage up and fry it along with the taters, add some other ingredients and round it off with some eggs, and boom! My father always spoke fondly of it and how he could never quite get it to taste just like hers... Hell, I can't ever get anything to taste just like my mom's, but that is because it differs from individual to individual, even if you think you added the exact measurement of each ingredient within the recipe.
I have had so many variations of this dish and have two or three favorite combinations of what is essentially a "garbage hash." It is not as unique as some might think, really, but it is special enough to me that I decided to write this blog post to honor my dad's original post on the old site, and to honor my grandma because she cooked with love. In fact, my dad had written his blog post right before the final crash of Foodie-zoo, and it would not sit well with me if I didn't say something about it.
It is true that my dad had a limited bank of recipes that he cooked and tasted awesome... He made the BEST home made bread, his biscuits were like fluffy little clouds, his beef stew and his chili were to die for, and his breakfasts were awesome. It was one way that him and I bonded, as I had bonded with mom over the stove too. When it came to the hash, he always brought grandma up and how hers was the best.
I don't remember the first time that he made it for me... I had always assumed he put his nasty, canned corned beef hash into it... You know, the stuff that looks like canned dog food and smells like it too? Yeah, so you can probably imagine that I wasn't even interested in trying it for the longest time. In fact, I refused to even look at it when I was a kid because of how my mind associated it with the stuff in the can.
I believe I was a teenager when I actually began to pay attention to some of the things that he cooked. The first things were his breakfasts, of course, and how he taught me that you do not need milk to make the perfect, soft scrambled egg that was still fluffy and tasty. I watched him throw various things into a pan, and I actually gave myself a chance to smell it and enjoy the aroma. When I tried it, I was in for a pleasant surprise... It was good... I mean, REALLY good.
Him and I would talk from over the counter since the kitchen at my mom's house is not that big, and he would tell me stories about grandma or grandpa, adventures in truck driving and such. There was a hilarious story about how grandpa would truck drive and smoke in his sleep, shifting gears with one hand and puffing on an invisible cigarette with the other. My dad would take a clothes pin and stick it between the forefinger and middle finger, and sure enough, Grandpa would "puff" on the clothes pin... We're talking about the round ones, not the ones with springs. I am sure if dad had done that one, there would have been hell to pay.
As it was, my grandpa would wake up with the clothes pin between his fingers and he would get mad and cuss.
My dad also told stories about my grandma and how she would knock people upside the head with a fireplace poker for cussing in her house. I guess that she was a spitfire while she was alive and she had all the respect in the world for it and for the fact that she was also the sweetest person alive when she wasn't provoked into being irate. I don't remember anything about her, I don't remember ever seeing her or cuddling her, but my dad explained to me that she loved my older sister and me to the moon and back, we were the apples of her eye because she had wanted granddaughters so badly after raising four boys. I wish I had gotten to be around her longer than three years because she had a wealth of things I could have learned from her, like quilting and knitting. I am happy to say that I at least have the legacy of her hash browns, even as insignificant as it may seem to others. It means the world to me to be able to connect with my grandma.
So if you are up in heaven listening to my thoughts as I type this blog post out, grandma, know that I am so glad to have a recipe to share with the world because you made one up.
Ingredients per two people:
2 TBSP Canola or Vegetable oil
1 TBSP Butter
6 oz of whatever meat you want (optional, I usually choose bacon if I have it, or breakfast sausage. I have seen dad use ham and smoked sausage before.)
1 potato of any size, shredded, sliced, or diced
1/8 cup of sliced or diced onion
1/8 cup bell pepper (Optional)
1 slice of whole wheat or white bread, torn into small pieces
Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic, rosemary, and paprika all to taste
1 egg. beaten
1 handful (About 1/2 cup) of cheese of choice (Optional)
I hope that this recipe makes you as happy as it has for three generations of my family. Maybe you will find yourself telling stories while cooking it in the future. It is a small bit of comfort in these days where we are uncertain as to whether we can safely feed our families and be able to put some nutrition in, even if it isn't what a fitness guru would call "healthy eats." The point is to line your belly when you are hungry, and this stuff is super filling and very delicious.
Have a good day, my friends and...
This recipe is in collaboration with Capt'n Kenny's Fresh
Putting it together...
- In your dutch oven, drizzle olive oil, then add the mirepoix, tumeric, and a pinch of salt. Let the veggies do their thing until they are softened.
- Add the stock and the taters, let it come to a simmer and half cook the taters. (About 5 min after bubbling)
- Add the broccoli and cook until soft, but not sickly green, that is when it gets to smelling like sulfur. Add seasonings except for the scallion greens.
- Pull out some of the broccoli and set aside, then blend the rest of the stuff... The soup is going to look funky, but remember that looks can be deceiving. If you want a smoother texture, pass through a fine sieve. I like mine a lil more rustic.
- Add yogurt and the broccoli pieces and stir until combined.
- Add cheeses a little bit at a time so it doesn't clump up
- Serve, garnish with the scallion greens and some cheese, and some black pepper(Garnish optional, yo), and enjoy.
Okay, potatoes? Yogurt?
First, the taters... The taters replaces the starch that the flour in the roux would have given you, which helps the cheese to bind into the soup. I tested this out because I would like to pass it on to those who are on a gluten free diet can enjoy it too. (See, I DO love you. :P)
The greek yogurt is because I put sour cream instead of heavy cream, and I wanted that tangy flavor. The creaminess of the yogurt makes it more decadent.
I loved it with the changes!
I normally don't use turmeric in my broccoli cheese soup, and that also helps because it enhances the flavor of the broccoli in all the right ways.
Some updates and other Stuff!
- I have created a new Facebook website so y'all can get updates on recipes and stuff. Please do like it and share it! Clicky clicky!
- Speaking of Facebook, there is a new commenting system, I moved into the present! You no longer need to fill out a form to comment, you just do it with Facebook.
- I added a new affiliate, JanTink. Please do give her site a look see if you are into stuff like stamps and hand made cards.
- I will have some tips every now and then regarding easier foods that need no recipe.
- I was presented with the ad-sense option and I am thinking about it for the sake of making some money, but at the same time, it feels like selling out and I'd rather get some sponsors than do the add thing (unless it is approved by me, of course)
And that's all she wrote.
The last time I even ate Schnitzel was LCB100 in Culinary School (Very first cooking class in culinary school, or rather, the introductory course.) I don't quite remember which of the three meats we were told to use, though I am sure it was not veal, but I remembered that it really wasn't that hard to make that part of the dish. Instead of the dumplings, we made sauerkraut, which I do remember was better than the jarred junk by far.
I had never made the spaetzel before... not from scratch anyhow, so I was more into making that than the Schnitzel for this post, but it would be remiss of me not to give you the recipe for both, right? If I had remembered how to do the kraut and had the cabbage to do so, that would definitely have been added and this post would have been a threefer!
What I absolutely love about schnitzel is that it is part of my heritage; I do have a good chunk of German running through my bloodline. I do like to touch into the things that are associated with different parts of my blood so that I can share the diversity with you all. The other things that I love about it is that it is comforting to eat, and that it is interactive. Make the meal, serve it, let folks squeeze their own lemon onto the finished product and enjoy it with them.
It's a delightful treat to make every now and then and so easy to make. The spaetzel is fun to make, though it is sticky and messy, yet totally worth it in the end when you taste it. The hardest part is getting the dough made, and that isn't even hard either.
Both of the foods in question are fast to cook and truly simple to make that it will be done before you know it (depending on how many batches of each that you make.) Fair warning, also, this is not a diet food, it is meant to be treated as an occasional thing just like any other fried delight.
The Schnitzel Recipe
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(Plastic Wrap)Shallow dish
Two plates (I use paper plates)
Meat Mallet (or something that can be used to pound out the pork)
Cling Film (Plastic Wrap)
Sharp knife (I used my fine edged utility knife)
Paper towel or cooling rack
- Trim some of the fat from the meat, but leave a little for flavor. Cut each cutlet in half width wise, then butterfly using a sharp knife.
- Line your counter or work surface with a good amount of the cling film, and then place one piece of pork on that, pressing it flat down. Cover it with another piece of the film.
- Using the mallet, pound each piece out, pulling the mallet gently in the direction of the closest edge to help distribute the mass. You want your cutlets to be as thin as you can get it without tearing holes or making it see through. I'd say you want it between 1 and 2 MM thick for best results, set those aside.
- Set up your breading station, eggs in the shallow dish, flour on one plate, bread crumbs on another. Be sure to season the meat, the eggs, and the flour. Dredge in flour first, then the egg, and then the bread crumbs. Get them all breaded and let them sit for a few minutes for the breading to adhere better to the meat.
- In the skillet, heat up your oil until you see it shimmering. If you aren't sure it's ready, use a chopstick or the handle of a wooden spoon; if you see little bubbles foaming around it, the oil is ready.
- Fry in batches of two (or one if you have a smaller skillet) until each side is golden brown - it doesn't take long at all and you will smell it if the one side gets too dark. Place on rack or towel to drain. Toss a little more salt on it to finish seasoning.
- Serve with lemon and choice of sides.
Spider strainer or slotted spoon
Potato ricer with large holes, or cheese grater with large holes, or spaetzel maker
Medium sauté pan
- Mix the flour and seasonings in the bowl.
- Beat eggs into the milk, then pour into the dry ingredients. Use a fork or your fingers to mix the dough, but do not overwork the mixture. You will get a sticky dough, do not be alarmed if it looks like the picture above.
- Heat your water, and I suggest salting it, until simmering.
- Have your sauté pan at the ready with half of the butter at a lower heat so the butter doesn't burn.
- This is where I made a huge mistake! Because the dough is so sticky, it clogged up my crank shredder and not all of it made it into the pot! Spray whatever you are using to help prevent sticking, and then just grate or press right over the pot in batches.
- As soon as those suckers are floating, they are ready to pull from the water. It happens really fast, so be at the ready with your spider.
- Toss the dumplin's into the saute pan until you have all of them in there, then turn up the heat and sautee them to get some color and a little crunch. Trust me when I tell you that the crunchy spaetzel is so very yummy!
- Add the rest of the butter, lemon juice, and the parsley, and toss until butter is melted. Serve and enjoy!
Eat, Drink, and be Merry!
I absolutely adore the simplicity of each part of the meal. The buttery flavor of the dumplings after they are sautéed? Yes, yes, all the yes. I promise you that it might look daunting, but it really is super easy once you have everything ready to cook! It is also quite worth the effort.
I hope that this brings you as much joy as it did me, and I hope that you enjoy the recipes.
It’s been established that dad didn’t do very well with some of his cooking, and I say that in the most endearing sense. Not all of his food was bad. He was really great at making an American breakfast (Pancakes, bacon and/or sausage, and eggs), he could also make a mean campfire chili or beef stew, and he made what our family calls Slumgolean Hash (which I can do a recipe for at another time.) But this blog post is not about any of those things.
I remember how proud he was of the bread and how he laughed with his joy at how his children were delighted in this pastry. It was something we gathered around just one time that I can remember, but it did define part of my childhood with a good and beautiful memory.
I have had other monkey bread throughout the years; GOOD monkey bread, at that, but nothing that has ever taken me back to that memory. It took hearing the sound of my niece, Al’s daughter, to call out, “Monkey bread” to spark that memory full on, though Al is the one who made it.
My brain went into excitement mode for the things I could take out and replace, or add to it to make it better. I want to be taken back to that first bite, to hearing my father laugh the way he used to, because it was to him who I owe my cooking passion.
Fair warning, this is a time consuming recipe but totally worth the effort. This is also not diet food, though you can use sweeteners to lower the amount of sugar you use. Just follow the conversions as needed, usually the sweetener bags will have them. They are also widely available on the web.
- 4 ¼ - 4 ¾ cups flour
- 1 packet dry active yeast
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup cooked potatoes, mashed
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, cut up
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
Variation #1 with an adult twist
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup softened, unsalted butter
- ½-1 cup rum soaked raisins (optional for either the rum or the raisins)
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons rum (milk if you don’t want rum) - I used half and half
Variation #2, Blood Orange Cranberry
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon or so Blood Orange zest
1 teaspoon fresh (grated with micro plane) or ground ginger
¼ cup softened, unsalted butter
½ cup blood orange juice soaked dried cranberries
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
A dash of ground ginger
1-2 Tablespoons Blood Orange Juice
(You can use any orange if you are not fond of blood oranges)
- Cooking Spray
- Large mixing bowl
- Sauce Pan
- Measuring cup/spoons
- Electric Mixer
- Well greased bundt pan
- Sheet pan
- Sharp knife or bench scraper
- Cutting board if using a knife
- Plastic wrap or damp tea towel, parchment paper
- In your mixing bowl, combine the yeast and 1 ½ cups flour and set aside. Meanwhile, heat up the milk, potato, and butter, granulated sugar, and salt in the sauce pan until 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit and the butter is almost melted. Add this to the flour mixture as well as the eggs, beating with an electric beater on low speed for about 30 seconds, then on high for another 3 minutes. Stir in as much of the rest of the flour as you can.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in whatever flour you couldn’t stir in for a moderately soft dough. You want this dough to be smooth and elastic by the time you are through kneading. It takes about 3 to 5 minutes to reach the right consistency, so you will get a little arm work out! Shape the dough into a ball, and I suggest you rub oil on your hands and then pat that on the dough ball and then using the mixing bowl and a damp tea towel or some plastic wrap to cover the bowl. Set this aside in a warm place and let it rise until dough doubles in size.
- Get your aggression out on the dough, punch that sucker down and then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. If you haven’t already greased your bundt pan, now is the time to do so. If you have a bundt pan with the ridges on it, it’s especially important to lubricate that pan so the bread doesn’t get stuck in any of the nooks and crannies. If not, go back to tending to the dough. Cut your dough into four equal lumps. Set aside three of the sections (back into the bowl they go), then roll the first lump into a rectangle, approximately ¼ inch thick, transfer to the sheet pan, place parchment on top and then repeat the same step with each of the remaining lumps. Preheat oven to 375(F).
- Mix the filling (V. 1: Brown Sugar and cinnamon) (V. 2: Granulated sugar, ginger, and orange zest). Spread the soft butter on each layer, then sprinkle either your raisins(v. 1) or your cranberries (v. 2), placing one dough layer on top of the other, then roll into a spiral and cut into rolls. Then cut the rolls into irregular nuggets and build those up in the bundt pan. Cover and let rise until doubled in size or nearly.
- Make your glaze (V. 1: Rum or milk and powdered sugar)(V. 2: Orange Juice, ginger, orange zest, and powdered sugar).
- Bake for 30-45 minutes or until dough is done in the thickest parts of the bread. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, turn out onto a wire rack, and then pour your glazes over the top and serve warm.
Prep: 45-60 minutes
Rise: 75 min
Rest: 10 min
Cook time: 30-45 min
Serving: 4 pieces
Yield: Approx. 48 nuggets
Source for Base Recipe: Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook 16th Edition Page 110: Potato Cinnamon Rolls
I chose to make the adultified version, and just so you know? The rum icing is A-Okay! I don’t think I added enough salt to the dough itself, but that is my error, not the recipe. It was still fluffy but dense like raisin bread, as opposed to your traditional cinnamon bun.
I adore monkey bread and the memories it brings. Share this bread with your children (or at least the rumless variety) and watch their faces light up with joy. Maybe you could even have your little ones help you out with making the bread so you can create memories of your own. If you don’t have kids, you can still make it and have fun in the process. The point is, you should do it because you want to and to experience the joy that it can bring.
For me, I will forever cherish the stolen moments that are branded into my memory that can come flying back into my head at the sound of its name, or the flavor of the dish. I hope that I do justice to one of my dad’s very favorite things to make! And with that I say...
Life has really been interesting as of late, and sometimes you have to stop and take a minute to let yourself smell the roses.
With the death of dad, I found myself pretty overwhelmed and unable to wrap my mind around a lot of things. It's been five months now, and it still really hurts, but my dad would not want me to walk away from something I worked so hard to create. He invested his heart and soul into my blogging and creativity, and I got to the point where looking at this blog had been gnawing at me in the wrong way. I don't want to give this up; I just need to get my heart back into the story, you know?
I have been trying, therefor, to spend time outside of trying to be a great cook. I needed to be around my mom and sisters more, to get closer to them than I have ever felt. I needed to see my growing nieces and nephews and feel the joy in how much they are like me even though I didn't birth them. My sweet little baby niece, Avalee, just turned a year old this month, and she melts my heart. The way she dug into her smash cake just gave me so much to smile about.
Some pictures from my adventures...
I have made a few friends along the way, one of them being a really cool guy named Captain Kenny, who specializes in fresh seafood, not only in cooking it but in the catch. I really enjoy his YouTube videos and recommend you check them out. I will not only provide a link to his blog, but his YouTube channel.
With that all being said...
Marie Barone isn't the only one...
Did you ever watch the show, Everybody Loves Raymond? Marie Barone was one of my favorite characters. I mean, she could cook some beautiful foods, though she was very secretive of this. One recipe in particular got my gears moving and my curiosity on high alert. It was steak pizzaiola, a name that I memorized and thought about quite a bit.
Carne Pizzaiola means “meat in pizza style,” and is mostly made with cheaper cuts of beef, but can be other meats such as chicken. Basically, it is a wide range of combinations that you can use. The best way to put it is that the meat is a replacement for pizza crust. I have no idea on where in Italy this dish was first made, or even when, but I thank the Italians for such lovely fare.
I decided to look a recipe up and you’re probably going to giggle at where I found it at… I hijacked Martha Stewart’s recipe for her easier version (she has both that and traditional). I made it the first time several years ago, but right away I decided to change what I saw because her recipe seemed so… well… herbless? She was using round steak, which is quite lacking of flavor to begin with, and there wasn’t much in the way of even Oregano. I don’t even remember if she used it or not.
I thought about how I like my pizza in general and went for it. My family gobbled it up, including my very picky dad who didn’t like flavor much (aka, he had a bland pallet, the poor man). Guess what? It’s actually very easy to make, and you don’t even have to tenderize the meat because it’s a slow cooked, one pot/pan meal!
- After you have prepped your ingredients, (vocabulary of the day, Mise En Place – Everything in place), make sure your pan is nice and hot and then add your olive oil.
- Once the olive oil is shimmering, then you add your steak. Sear for a few minutes (4-5) until you get a nice crust. This gives it some good flavor.
- Remove the steak to a big plate along with juices, and do one of the following…
- Lower the heat some, add your onions and diced peppers, stirring until onions become translucent
- Add your garlic and sautee with the veggies for a few moments to get the raw taste out.
- Drop in your tomato paste and stir. When it starts to smell sweet, it’s ready.
- Pour in the tomatoes, juice and all, and water/beef stock(as necessary), stirring until mixed.
- Add a small amount of salt and pepper
- Put the steak and juices back into the skillet and cover with the sauce. Then cover pan and simmer on low heat for 2 hours, checking periodically to make sure it doesn’t scald. About 1 hr 45 min into this, add your herbs.
- Once the steak is done (it should be fork tender at this point) add the cheese on top of each steak, recover and let that melt.
- Serve with your choice of sides
Totally optional but worth it, refined method:
- For Electric Stove: Before you even start cooking the beef, place whole pepper into the oven at 425F for 20-30 minutes until skin is charred. For Gas Stove: You can char the skin using one of your burners while your beef is cooking, and once charred, place into a bowl and loosely cover with cling film or the bowl’s cover. Set aside to let the skin loosen.
- Turn the heat in the pan down, add some more olive oil, toss in your skillet, add salt to draw moisture out and then keep stirring them every minute or so. Do not leave the stove, not even to answer your phone, as your onions can and will burn if you do not pay attention to them. In about 20 minutes or so, turn the skillet off and let the residual heat finish caramelizing the onions.
- Pull your pepper out of the bowl, and using a paper towel or tea towel, remove the skin, discard the seeds and membranes. DO NOT remove skin with water, that takes flavor away and we don’t want that.
- Turn the heat back on to your pan, add the peppers to the onions, along with garlic and stir until the garlic is cooked a little.
- Follow steps 3-8 from the easy method.
Serve with pasta or bread if desired!
Note: I omitted the paste because that is how I like the sauce, so it might look different on my plate than it will look on yours if you use the paste.
Prep Time: 10-45 min
Cook Time: 2-3 Hours
Nutrition facts for 6
Amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16.3g21%
Saturated Fat 5.1g25%
Total Carbohydrate 10.1g4%
Dietary Fiber 2.3g8%
Total Sugars 5.9g
Vitamin D 0mcg0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
When I told him a year or so later that we fed him Bambi, he said, “I knew it all along,” in that tone of voice a kid gets when they find out they’ve been duped.
And I laughed and laughed. (I kid)
With that all being said, I bid you good day and:
I was going to make a strawberry sauce for it and maybe some other fruit, but my strawberries were freezer burnt and my plans had to change. I remembered the bananas I had sitting around, all ripe and brown looking in their overly sweet glory. I remembered that my mom liked banana pudding, so the bell went off in my head: I would make banana mousse and I could put the chocolate in as chunks, which would make it appropriate for a brunch dessert after all.
Before I get into the recipe, though, I want to talk about my mom. My dad was not the only person who contributed to this passion of mine, it was my mom that taught me a few basics like boiling water and making boxed foods like mac n cheese, or spaghetti. The story she told me about her own cooking was that she wasn't a very good cook when she was first married to my dad, but she never really said that was why she was teaching me some things.
She did the best she could at the time, but it was hard for her when dad had gotten sick from driving truck and could no longer work. She'd work rough hours at a nearby nursing home during second and third shift, thus leaving my dad to do the cooking while she did everything she could to keep food on the table. I remember how she would buy a lot of pork chops because those were some of the cheapest, and a lot of ground beef for the same reason, but she didn't get to eat them with us.
Mom told us later that it was really hard for her to keep the hours she did because she missed her babies. By the time she got home, she was asleep, she couldn't see us off to school, and she didn't g et to see us much at all during her second shift job. Finally, she decided to go to school to better her life as well as ours, was able to get a better job with better hours and we were able to eat better food.
Needless to say, I appreciate my mom's role in encouraging my knowledge of cooking and being supportive of me when I decided to go to culinary school. Mom, I hope that you read this because writing out my feelings tends to be much more eloquent than my sometimes stumbling words.
More about the dessert
- In a your mixing bowl, mash your bananas as mashed as you can get them.
- Add your cream cheese or Neufchatel on top of that, as well as vanilla and salt(Optional) and mix well, scraping the sides as necessary for an even mix
- Fold in whipped cream with the spatula, moving through the middle and stirring gently from the sides
- Fold in chocolate
- Optional - Pipe into individual servings if you don't want to leave it in the mixing bowl
- Cover and leave in the fridge for an hour (if you are impatient), but for best results, leave it overnight so the banana flavor can intensify
Prep time: 10-15 min
Calories(Cream Cheese): 330-440
Yield: 6-8 servings
Chill time: 1-24 hour(s)
Speaking of Bananas!
You could end up with a gratitude gift of one of my favorites out of this collection, the banana measuring spoons that are both metric and standard, as well as in braille. These wonderful tools are for a good cause, helping kids of all sorts to develop a love for cooking as well as adults who happen to like cuteness such as these.
I am looking forward to testing these babies out, and you will help make that happen.
Be sure to check them out at their Kickstarter Campaign!
These are various recipes that either I created, or I found and adjusted to what I thought would be awesome or even healthier.
Poor Man's Meal